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George Martin discusses first impressions of The Beatles in new clip

“Well, that’s a silly name for a start", he recalls to his granddaughter

By Joe Goggins

The Beatles receive a Silver Disc from George Martin of EMI
The legendary producer was popularly dubbed the "fifth Beatle". (Photo: Alamy)

George Martin can be heard explaining to his granddaughter why he signed The Beatles in a heartwarming new clip shared by his son, Giles.

The revealing footage, which was posted to Twitter and is viewable below, sees the legendary producer reminiscing about his initial impressions of the band, when they travelled from Liverpool to London for a meeting with him. “Well, that’s a silly name for a start,” he said.

“I met them in London and when I listened…it was ok but it wasn’t brilliant. But the magic bit came when I started to get to know them because they were terribly good people.” Explaining why he took a chance on the Fab Four, Martin continued: “They were funny, they were very clever…and they were the kind of people that you liked to be with. So I thought, ‘if I feel this way about them, other people will feel this way about them’. So therefore, they should be very popular.”

Martin died in March 2016, at the age of 90. He was popularly known as the “fifth Beatle” for his contributions as producer to nearly all of the group’s original recordings; only ‘Let It Be’, produced by Phil Spector, and the songs ‘Free as a Bird’ and ‘Real Love’, on which Electric Light Orchestra frontman Jeff Lynne sat behind the desk, were not produced by Martin. 

Additionally, he wrote the instrumental score for the ‘Yellow Submarine’ film and soundtrack album, as well as the string and horn arrangements for almost every single Beatles song, save for the ‘Let It Be’ album and the 1967 track ‘She’s Leaving Home’. Giles has continued his father’s work on the band’s recordings, overseeing 50th anniversary remasters of ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’, ‘The Beatles’, ‘Abbey Road’, and ‘Let It Be’.

More recently, Rolling Stone UK‘s Stephanie Hernandez took an inside look at the world’s first master’s degree dedicated to study of The Beatles. “This isn’t the world’s biggest pub quiz, it’s a critical degree and students are going to have to do a great deal of analysis,” said founding professor Dr Holly Tessler of the programme at the University of Liverpool, which is titled ‘The Beatles: Music Industry and Heritage’.